Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, March 19, 2017 – Podcast Now Available

Planning For Retirement

Rollover Central (Big Business, Buyer Beware)

Retirement Party

One of the largest financial decisions a person will make during their lifetime is what to do with their retirement savings when they retire. I have heard many horror stories from folks over the years who have made wrong decisions. The stories often revolve around someone convincing them to buy a complicated and costly financial product. On the program this week, I spend time going through a framework to develop a good decision making process. 

Too often, people will immediately be talked into rolling or transferring their monies out of a retirement plan before comparing it to the proposed solution. In other cases, a lack of disclosure or too much faith in the salesperson dooms the transaction and/or the relationship. 

The concept of “money in motion” has been taught to financial salespeople for generations. That is, focus on people who are at or near a lifetime event to gather assets. They will be more vulnerable and responsive to sales pitches when they are facing a big decision. It all makes sense, but too often these trolling for dollars safaris end up hurting real people. I have seen many inexperienced or unscrupulous salespeople sell costly financial products that appear to benefit them more than their clients. 

On the program this week, I spend time walking through some of the issues that folks face as they get close to retirement and what they should do with their retirement savings. I hope you enjoy the program this week. – Gary

Contact Information

If you have a question or would like to contact Gary, the best way is through Gary’s Email at gallen@prudentllc.com. You can always try to call him as well 916.436.8331.

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Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, March 12, 2017 – Podcast Now Available

The Good Old Days

Good Old Days_ManI often hear about the good old days when everyone in the land had a pension that lasted a lifetime. These good old days come up when people complain about 401(k) plans and how they have failed America. However, were the good old days really that good? I don’t profess to have all the answers, but this memory of the good old days seems to be a bit hazy at best. 

First of all, only about half of American workers were covered by pensions. This is hardly comforting to the other half that did not have a pension. And on top of that, just how secure are those old pensions? The answer right now is a big shakier than many remember. Those old pensions are still the same pensions we are living with today. 

The reality is many of those pensions are significantly underfunded. The problem of under-funding is present in public and private pension systems. And the scary thing is the PBGC, which is the safety net behind pensions is also running out of money.

In the first segment of the program, I cover the current health of the pension system in the United States. Don’t worry, it can be fixed, but it is going to take a lot of effort and sacrifice.

KryptoniteIn segment two, I cover the exciting topic of the fine print. Investment disclosures are something that everyone struggles with. There have been many attempts at trying to develop more effective and simpler disclosures but it does not seem to matter. For whatever reason, disclosures appear to contain some kind of fatal dose of Kryptonite that renders investors oblivious to the risks involved. Unfortunately, I don’t have any simple answer to fix this problem. Caveat emptor still reigns supreme when it comes to purchasing investments.

In segment three, I respond to an excellent question from podcast listener Randy. He had a great question about when is it appropriate to invest in a stable value fund. Most listeners know, I am not a fan of stable value funds, but sometimes you don’t have much choice.

Finally, in segment four, in the remaining time I have, I cover some of the issues or problems that I see with stable value funds. The perceived safety and guarantee of stable value funds make them very attractive to retirement plan participants. It is my opinion that most people would do better if they did not commit their savings to these high cost, low return vehicles.   

It was the dreaded spring-forward Daylight Savings Time weekend… so I know many of you may have missed the broadcast. That’s why we have this podcast. I hope you enjoy the program – Gary 

CONTACT INFORMATION

If you have a question for Gary or would like to chat with him, the best way is to contact him through email. Gary’s Email  gallen@prudentllc.com.

If you are not the emailing type, you can always try to reach him via telephone at 916.436.8331.

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Gary Allen on Business: Sunday, August 14, 2016 – Podcast Now Available

ABLE ACT529 ABLE Accounts Big Deal for Disabled People

Most people know about 529 College Savings Accounts but few are aware of the new exciting changes under code section 529A. Passed in 2014, the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 is the single biggest improvement for the financial future of disabled people in a very long time. 

Until the passage of the ABLE act most disabled individuals have been trapped in a life of government imposed poverty. Unfortunately, disabled people have been limited to financial assets of less than $2,000 or they would lose their government benefits. All of that is about to change with ABLE accounts.

Listen to the highlights of the exciting ABLE accounts program on this week’s program. The great news is disabled people will be allowed to have modest financial wealth and retain their government benefits. Wonderful news for the disabled community and their families.

Fiduciary ComparisonFiduciary Standard Versus Suitability Standard of Care

A recent interaction with an intern from a financial services firm on the east coast crystallizes the difference between being a fiduciary and a salesperson. This short segment is a great lesson in understanding the differences between a professional and a salesperson in the financial services industry. 

The All-Weather Portfolio and Goals-Based Investing

The final segment of the program introduces the concept of an all weather portfolio and focusing on your needs or goals. It is a change in thought process from the usual product driven/returns driven investment mindset.

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Contact Information – Gary Allen

If you have a question for Gary or would like to contact him, the best way is through email at gallen@prudentllc.com. You can also try his office at 916.436.8331 but he responds more quickly through email.

Rare Interview with Costco Co-Founder Jim Sinegal

Jim Sinegal Interview

Costco Co-Founder and Former CEO

Jim Sinegal / at Costco store Nepean, Ontario

I have had a number of requests from people about the recent interview with Costco co-founder and ex-CEO Jim Sinegal. While the interview with Jim is included in the podcast from the show on Sunday, July 31, 2016 (segment 3), below you will find a podcast of only that segment. That should make it easier for anyone trying to find the interview with Jim.   

It was a real pleasure to have the interview with Jim Sinegal who does not often provide interviews these days. Thanks to the folks at The Organic Coup for arranging the visit with Jim. The interview contains some excellent advice and observations for entrepreneurs and employees alike. 

Sinegal

Podcast of Jim Sinegal Interview

Gary Allen on Business – KNBR 680 AM San Francisco, Original Broadcast on Sunday, July 31, 2016

Gary Allen on Business: Sunday, July 31, 2016: Podcast Now Available

The Organic Coup Interview

On the program this week an interesting story about a new startup in the fast food industry. The Organic Coup is America’s first certified organic fast food restaurant. The mission is a big one, in fact a revolution in the fast food industry. The upstart promises fast, healthy, organic food that promises to reinvent the concept of fast food.

The_Organic_Coup_Dennis___Erica.0The driving force behind the company are two former Costco executives without restaurant experience. However, Erica Welton is a well-known executive considered to be one of the most influential organic food individuals in the country. Erica was at the center of turning Costco into the world’s largest organic retailer. Her partner is long-time Costco executive Dennis Hoover.

The two represent an excellent partnership between Welton’s vision for the company and Hoover’s deep operational experience running Costco’s crucial Northern California region for many years.

While the two do not have direct restaurant experience, it is easy to see in the interview that Costco’s passion for excellence, quality and efficiency are key factors in the startup. In addition, the organic supply chain relationships developed by Welton are crucial for the company’s ability to scale up from its current three locations to as many as ten by the end of the year.Many more company owned restaurants are planned over the next few years.

The combination of clean, healthy, fresh food with the efficiency of Costco and an aspiration to match In-N-Out Burger’s service could be a disruptive force in the fast food industry. Only time will tell if Welton and Hoover with their team can scale and execute on the mission, but so far so good. 

On a personal note, everyone (including me) at KNBR 680 & 1050, KGO 810, KSFO 560 and 107.7 the Bone who tried their signature organic fried chicken sandwich gave it a big thumbs up. That is a huge endorsement since radio stations live on fast food 24/7. 

SPECIAL GUEST

Jim SinegalJim Sinegal – Former CEO and Co-Founder of Costco

It was a real coup (pun intended) to have Jim Sinegal of Costco fame call into the program to talk about his business experiences and his connection to The Organic Coup. The retailing legend offers some excellent advice to business owners and employees in segment three of the program. 

FURTHER INFORMATION

signature-sandwichThe company currently has three locations (Pleasanton, San Francisco, Pleasant Hill) with more to come in the near future. You can find more information about The Organic Coup at http://www.theorganiccoup.com.

CONTACT INFORMATION – Gary Allen

If you would like to contact Gary or have a question for him email is the best method. His email address is gallen@prudentllc.com or you can try to contact him at 916.436.8331. 

PODCAST

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Organic Coup

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Gary Allen on Business: Sunday, June 5, 2016 – Podcast Now Available

Monetary and Fiscal Policy… Helping the Economy or Slowly Drowning it?

3d Little man choose between sink or swimIn the first segment of the program this week I talk about the potential impact of the unprecedented use of monetary policy to support global economies. How does it impact the global economy and what impact does it have on the average consumer?

In segment two, I provide my experiences with Uber as I travel on business around the country. I use Uber as a good example of how a disruptive technology/business model has upended the somewhat monopolistic stranglehold that traditional cab companies had on transportation.

What is often overlooked is how lower costs, more supply and competition has actually increased demand and improved the level of service. Another overlooked reality is how the average cost of licensing a cab adds $30,000 to $50,000 per year that is passed on to the consumer. Uber and its ride sharing competitors can offer lower prices because the licensing structure in place for traditional transportation companies is avoided. The cost of a taxi medallion to operate in NYC has for many years has been about $1 million. Uber and other ride sharing drivers do not have this requirement.

In segments three and four, the focus is turned to retirement vehicles. The segment covers some of the differences regarding pretax and after-tax considerations. The idea is to give you a better understanding of where to save rather than what to invest in.

As always, I hope you enjoy the program.Thank you for listening to my program on KNBR. – Gary

CONTACT INFORMATION

You can reach Gary at:

Email – gallen@prudentllc.com

Telephone – 916.436.8331

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Gary Allen on Business: Sunday, May 29, 2016 – Podcast Now Available

Costs Matter – The Impact of Fees on Your Retirement

Fees 3d Word Bear Trap Money Interest Late Payment Penalty

Hidden or in plan sight, fees can have a big impact on retirement

People have spent eternity trying to outguess or outsmart financial markets. Another way of looking at this is to understand that people are trying to control financial markets. However, financial markets are dynamic and resist control at any level. Ultimately, this is a fool’s errand. 

Conversely, controlling costs is something that can and should be done. On this program, I run through a study we recently prepared for a company. While simple, it shows the individual and cumulative damage that higher and unnecessary fees inflict on retirement investors.  

In the study, the impact on a small retirement plan of $5 million dollars over two decades is striking. While numbers can sometimes be hard for people to comprehend, the resulting impact changes people’s lives for the worse. By controlling costs and paying only necessary fees, it is possible for employers to have a large positive impact on their own employees. 

Later in the program, I discuss the three factors that people can use to impact their own retirement:

  1. Funding (wish I could change this)
  2. The timing of your retirement
  3. Change the way you invest

These three factors can have a positive or negative influence on your retirement. Since they are under your control or influence these are the items you should spend time on rather than worrying about trying to outsmart financial markets.

As always, thank you for listening to my program on KNBR 680. If you have questions or concerns about your own investments or would like us to review what you are doing, please contact Gary.

Contact Information

The best way to contact Gary is through email at gallen@prudentllc.com. But you can try to reach him by phone as well at 916.436.8331.

Email: gallen@prudentllc.com

Phone: 916.436.8331

 

Podcast

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